My new grandson at four days old loves to be swaddled. Especially after the trauma of a bath, the swaddling of a blanket calms him down. He is no longer agitated flailing his little arms and legs. The tightness of the blanket seems not only to hold him steady, but hold his unhappiness in check as well! The change from crisis to peace is almost immediate!
Who does not relate to the need to be tightly held! At times of great sorrow or crisis, a strong long hug seems to have such a calming effect. Tension leaves the body, and often the emotional stress as well.
Our verse for today describes our Lord as an attentive Shepherd. He picks up and carries the lambs close to His heart. What a loving image! He does not carry them under His arm like a football, but against His strong chest close to the beat of a loving heart. Those lambs are pinned down by strong arms, much like a swaddled infant. No more struggling is possible. There is nothing to do but relax in those arms and be carried.
When someone suffers the loss of a loved one, I often think about those arms of His that are so loving and tender. Hugs from friends are readily available in the early days of grief. But later, the need to be held continues well after they have gone. We have a Shepherd who is always available to hold us through whatever loss we are feeling.
Thank you Lord, that You are there to hold me tightly in Your loving arms.